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NASA sees powerful winds around Typhoon Nangka's center

09.07.2015

The RapidScat instrument aboard the International Space Station measured Typhoon Nangka's powerful winds as it continues to move through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

On July 8, a Typhoon Warning was in effect for Agrihan, Pagan and Alamagan in the northern Marianas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in force for Saipan and Tinian.


On July 7, NASA's RapidScat instrument observed Nangka's strongest winds circling the center and reaching speeds of 35 meters per second (78.9 mph/126 kph).

Credits: NASA JPL/Doug Tyler

The RapidScat instrument that flies aboard the International Space Station measures surface winds. When it passed over Typhoon Nangka on July 7 from 17:54 to 19:26 UTC (1:54 to 3:26 p.m. EDT), it gathered data on sustained winds. The RapidScat data showed the strongest sustained winds were near 35 meters per second (78.9 mph/126 kph).

On July 8 at 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT), the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) estimated Nangka's maximum sustained winds near 115 knots (132.3 mph/213 kph). Nangka was centered near 16.1 North latitude and 148.6 East longitude, about 196 nautical (225.6 miles/363 km) east-northeast of Saipan.

Nangka was moving to the northwest at 9 knots (10.3 mph/16/6 kph). It was generating extremely rough seas and a maximum significant wave height at 36 feet (10.9 meters).

Animated enhanced infrared imagery showed tight bands of thunderstorms spiraling into the 17 nautical mile (19.5 miles/31.4 km) diameter cloud filled eye.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast calls for Nangka to continue to move west-northwest, while steadily intensifying. JTWC expects Nangka to strengthen to a Category 4 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, with sustained winds peaking near 125 knots (143.8 mph/231.5 kph).

Nangka is then expected to start on a weakening trend starting on July 10. For updated forecasts, visit the JTWC web page: http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!

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